Questions About Upgrades To New-Construction Homes

Asked by shopmymac, Fremont, CA Thu Mar 7, 2013

We are looking to purchase a new-construction home in the near future. We know which development/builder we are going with (not contracting my own builder). My questions is regarding upgrades. The builder had 4 preset upgrade packages available and the associated costs for each package. They are not bad, but not exactly what I want necessarily. I want to see what other upgrade options they have and what the costs would be for those upgrades before I sign a contract. Don't want to qualify for a certain amount from the lender, sign a contract only to find out I cannot afford the upgrades I want and get stuck with one of their packages. Can I ask for this "total cost" before signing the contract. Also, can I take the contract home to fully review before signing? Thanks Much, we are not movers, having been in the same home for over 30 years and never purchasing a new-construction home.

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John Dutra, , Fremont, CA
Thu Mar 7, 2013
You should be able to take the contract home, but be aware that many developer/builders are actually selling out of units in a day or two of release currently.

As for options, exploring all that you want and don't want upfront is a very good idea, but again, those options can be added on after the contract is signed - you do not need to do that all at once.

It is customary for builders to ask for 50% upfront on upgrades to help defer material costs.

I just finished doing a loan for a friend buying a new home where she took some of the options then purchased new flooring from an outside vendor and paid for the materials and install herself after the home closed. Lenders will not be as receptive to financing 50% of upgrades from an outside source, however, just so you are aware.

Best of luck in your new home!
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rajeev awasty, Agent, Pleasanton, CA
Thu Mar 7, 2013
Yes you may absolutely request the builder to disclose the upgrade packages and the costs involved before you sign the contract.Most builders do ask for upto 50% upfront costs and the rest added to the loan amount.
Most people do opt for Paint upfrade, kitchen appliances upgrade,pre wiring for speakers upgrade etc..Flooring is an option but do check with alocal contractor on the pricing to be able to make a decision on that upgrade.
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Brian Ripp, Agent, Fremont, CA
Thu Mar 7, 2013
It is possible for you to buy the home without upgrades and do them yourself at a later date and save the money. Although builders are flexible, most of us will not know which builder will be more or less flexible. Of course the buyer might need to be flexible if dealing with there contractors and there packages.
You might be able to review the closing documents.

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